Michaelmas Lineman

The day after Michaelmas I spotted a red-tailed hawk perched on the telephone pole that marks the spot where the abandoned ferry road runs into the woods behind the factories. A sign of the change in seasons, perhaps, as redtails are much less common to see around here than they are in more northern climes, often along interstate highways. These edgeland woods along the Lower Colorado are dominated by red-shouldered hawks. It took me longer than it should have to learn to tell the difference between the two species, especially since they both flash some red. Now I can tell even without the aid of binoculars or a long lens camera, even when the profile is no clearer than in the phone pic above. The redtail looks like it’s wearing grey flannel with a white shirt, whereas its red-shouldered cousin breaks out the rusty autumnal tweeds. Lawyer versus law professor.

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